September 16 2010

Cannon treasure hunt for $1,000 to begin

September 16, 2010 // 0 Comments

More clues will be released this year     Hunters scouring Cannon Township for a copper coin that will give them $1,000 in free gasoline can begin looking Tuesday, September 21 when the first three of three clues each week are released. The Cannon Area Business Association (CABA) is again holding the annual treasure hunt in the memory of the township’s namesake cannon, hidden by township fathers after it fatally killed one man who was shooting it off as a prank. Today the hunt for the “cannon”—in the guise of a copper coin with the image of the cannon on one side—is worth big money, one thousand dollars in free gas to the hunter who first discovers its hiding place. “I run into people all the time from all over,” said the keeper of the coin’s hiding spot, Carl Stites of Stites Eye Care. “They tell me they love to look for the coin and do it as a family every year.” Stites said the local hunt—it is always within the boundaries of Cannon Township—has expanded its following to quite a distance. The hunt is in its fifth year and rules remain the same. The coin is located on public property, is not more than four feet off the ground, and must be turned in after being found. Clues are released each Tuesday beginning on September 21, and are available at the shops or websites of the participating businesses. Organizers have divided up the clues so that hunters must visit more than one place to find all three clues. For those who are “armchair hunters,” each Thursday edition of the Squire will have the clues of that week on the front page. “People are lined up outside the bank in the morning waiting for us to open,” said organizer Linda Anderson of ChoiceOne Bank on Belding Road. She said other participating businesses have the same experience and people sometimes make the mistake of searching the brush and landscaping of the businesses hoping to find the coin. That’s great fun, and “hunter” sightings are often called in to the Squire so a reporter can run out and interview hunters. However, the coin is never hidden on private property, so searching in the gutter of any of […]

Two hundred years of living history free to see this week

September 16, 2010 // 0 Comments

History all the way back to the French and Indian War in the 1750s will come alive this Saturday and Sunday with the 24th year of the Grand Rogue Military Encampment at the Grand Rogue Campgrounds, 6400 West River Drive. The event is free to the public and hopefully raises as much curiosity as it answers questions. Reenactor Mike DeJonge said participants take pride in being as authentic as possible and many artifacts are the real thing. They look forward to sharing their passion about our past. “A lot of people are fascinated with Civil War reenacting because it was a war between ourselves,” DeJonge stated. “It was the first modern war, the first war with photographs.” He said many people have family members in the Civil War. Young and old will be invited to participate in several demonstrations, including the proper use of a bayonet. Some traders bring items to sell, hard candy, utensils, spoons and pots. Items for sale vary as participants don’t like to offer the same things year after year. DeJonge said he has been a participant for just under two decades and has always been a fan of American history. “History drew me in. What clothes did they wear, what gear, how to start a fire without a match,” he said. “We are so used to electricity. Try using flint and steel to make a shower of sparks to start a fire. How do you bake a pie over a fire without an oven. It’s not just about military, it’s about life.” He said demonstrations may include blacksmiths who show how iron was worked, woodworkers who demonstrate how they made wood into furniture without power tools. Surveyors, an historically important profession, also have a story to tell and are happy to at the encampment. They can explain how Michigan’s townships were measured out with lengths of chain carried on foot across the entire face of the state. Many important men in history were surveyors, including George Washington, Abe Lincoln and many others. Children, and adults, can “play at soldier” by taking part in musket demonstrations. Throughout the day there are demonstrations of fights on horseback and on foot between settlers and native Americans. The guns aren’t loaded with bullets but […]

Governor ‘wowed’ by annual Mackinac Bridge walker

September 16, 2010 // 0 Comments

by Cliff and Nancy Hill This past Labor Day your reporters represented The Rockford Squire by participating in, for the eighth time in a row, the annual Labor Day Mackinac Bridge walk. The bridge walk tradition began in 1958 when then Governor G. Mennen “Soapy” Williams led thousands of participants across the five-mile bridge that spans the Straits of Mackinac connecting the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of the state of Michigan. In doing so, Gov. Williams began a tradition of successive governors leading this unique annual event. At exactly 7 a.m. every Labor Day morning, participants numbering anywhere from 40,000 to 70,000 begin to trek southbound across the bridge from the start in St. Ignace to the finish in Mackinaw City. They traverse the span on two lanes of the four-lane bridge that are reserved, this day only, specifically for walkers. This is the only time that the bridge is open to pedestrian traffic. Scary? You bet! But after the first crossing, many euphoric walkers resolve to make it an annual event. Be it singles, couples, families or members of a group, that first crossing leads to a tradition that is repeated year after year. So it was for us. We relish in the sense of community and achievement that one feels in walking this unique bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the world, with proud Michiganders and visitors from all over the world. Being in the first wave over the bridge has its advantages, but in order to do so we had to awake in our Cheboygan motel at the terrible hour of 4 a.m., UGH. After a quick shower and a light breakfast with only a scant cup of coffee—no port-a-potties on the bridge—we drove a short 15 miles to Mackinaw City to a secret parking place. We then hoofed it a half mile to the school bus staging area where buses were waiting in line to transport walkers northbound over the bridge to St. Ignace where the walk begins. The transporting of walkers is a huge undertaking in and of itself, but after 53 years the Bridge Authority has it down to a science. This year they had 122 school buses from surrounding school districts shuttling participants continually from 7 to 11 […]

Rockford woman creates art from heartache

September 16, 2010 // 0 Comments

When Melissa Cooper-Prince’s eleven-year marriage suddenly ended last year, she was disillusioned, angry, and heartbroken. “I felt blindsided. I needed an emotional outlet,” so the Rockford mother began painting while her children, Hannah, 9, and Cooper, 4, were visiting their father. At first she created small, simple watercolors, but as she became more immersed in the cathartic process, she ventured into other media—as well as more technically, and emotionally, challenging compositions. Having taken only three art and design courses at Hope College many years ago, Cooper-Prince had limited experience as an artist, but she realized that “it was a form of therapy” as she would become lost in her art for hours and hours reflecting on her life with and without her husband. “Whatever I was feeling at that moment would come out on canvas. It was an amazing feeling.” Formerly a social worker, Cooper-Prince is “intrigued” by the idea of art-therapy. “I think that it may be a more effective way to resolve issues than talk therapy. You not only have the beneficial artistic process but a tangible, concrete expression of your thoughts that you can then step back and analyze.” And, she jokes, “I saved myself a million dollars in therapy bills!”And when Cooper-Prince, a sales coordinator at Metro PCS, finally shared with her friends and family her new found passion, she found that her works of art resonated with others—especially women who had gone through similar situations. After seven of her watercolors were displayed in two Rockford Coffeehouses, Epic and Frenz, she decided to create a piece for this year’s ArtPrize competition. “I wouldn’t say I’m an artist, but I just felt the need to put it out there as part of the healing process.” The nine-paneled canvas piece, entitled “Til Death Do Us Part”, was created this past spring from silicone, paper, oil, and watercolor. It also incorporates metal elements of chains, window screen and grommets. Cooper-Prince says it “represents a bound woman trying to find her voice, her sight and her freedom.” “When you get married, you have a certain vision for how you see your life, and my piece is about re-invention and becoming my own person and not being part of this couple anymore, but I think that […]

What a wonderful day of Fishing

September 16, 2010 // 0 Comments

  The father and son fishing team of Zehrudin (L) and Edin Mujic (R) of Grand Rapids, MI, show off a monster Rogue River pike. The Squire reporters, Cliff and Nancy Hill had the good fortune to watch this twosome boat three legal sized pike in a 30-minute span Sunday morning, September 12. This lunker was aprox. 36” long and weighed (est.) 12 lbs. Edin told us it was a perfect morning of fishing on the Rogue River upstream of the Rockford Dam. Between 7 and 11 a.m. they boated seven legal sized pike. True sportsmen, they returned all the fish to the river.

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